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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  January 24, 2013 2:00am-6:00am EST

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i will ask ed to address the specific issue in the lackland investigation that we are walking towards. if an individual is transferred as a result of poor performance and bad behavior related to sexual harassment i would he astonished if it was not somehow related to his record. they were being transferred as a matter of routine transfer and there is the decision made that the sexual-harassment was not substantiated for example then it would probably not be. >> or if there might've been an incident that was handled in a different way and didn't show on the record that this person could be transferred and it would never show up? >> i would tell you that yes that could happen. if we knew about one other commanders acting that way we would remove them from command. >> at which all of our commanders were held to that standard. it's my understanding that sometimes they don't actually hold themselves to that standard
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i am asking these questions because i'm trying to find out you know -- do we have seen that sexual-harassment leads in many cases to sexual assault. and so we have to be cognizant of trying to handle these things and these issues and to put it on people's herds so we don't promote them and move them and let them know that well i got away with it in this case. sometimes it's a -- sort of situation. so my next question is about the air force commanders conduct in climate assessment. the g8 report in september of 2011 told us that this was consistently done. how is this done in the air force -- in the fiscal year 23 mda that
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climate reports have to be done? there are two reasons why people don't like to do them we learned when commanders are resistant in conducting them and the command lacks an equal opportunity at pfizer. so what are you doing about this because we know if we had climate assessment some of this harassing kind of a situation might have bent put forward. what are you doing now? >> the gentlelady's time has expired. >> i would like to put in the record mr. chairman. >> mr. turner? >> thank you mr. chairman. appreciate you holding this hearing and the other hearings you have also held in your attention on the legislative side to addressing the sexual assault issue. you have been a leader on this and i've appreciatedo andhe cochair of the prevention caucus. you have been a great advocate as we have worked with the senate on these provisions.
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gentlemen we know why t penshere we come to this time where we say how in the military could there have been such a systematic right down of leadership and not no? we know why and it is absolutely yn issue of culture. to pass legislation but until we break the culture that allows the en make these changes from the seats in congress. they have to come from the seats that you have in the leadership there you have and i t thank you because i believe you have turned to this issue or go but i want to focus on the issue of culture to really identify why thethis issue first of culture. by marine who came forward with the allegation of rape and was subsequently murdered by the
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accused and had been re-victimized by the system in my office provided assistance to her and we all know her story from the movie the invisible war in in the marie lawton by case and want to read a letter i got back from them range. after she'd been viciously murdered writer accused we contacted the marines have asked them how could you not know that she was at risk for a violent crime for a violent action or assault and they actually wrote back this letter to me, which i have here from the tenet general crem which marine corps staff. asked him this question. does the rape accusation in nearly contained threats and this is the letter i got back. lauterbach never alleged any violence or threat of violence in neither sexual encounter so
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first i have a question that is relatively simple. have you ever heard of a non-violent rape? gen rice? >> no. >> general welsh? >> no congressmen i have not. >> i appreciate that because that is the answer i've gotten from every hearing and that is basically part of the culture understanding that this is a crime and its violence and i want to tell you another story. i've a question for either. we were at the marine commandant's house sitting around his dining room table my cochair nick tsongas was there and he can incorporate the story. we are wrapping a discussion on the issue culture and the need to change the culture in the department of defense and we were all done. we had all identified issues that needed to be addressed in the morning, don's wife said before everyone leaves you need to hear this and she turned to a senior female officer who was sitting around the table and said to her, could you tell them what you told me earlier? if you are subject to a sexual assault would you report its? and she said no.
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as the marine senior female officers sitting at the commandant, don's table and she said no. i would like to address that issue with both of you because clearly that is the culture. the concern is the fear of coming forward but the fact that they would be subject to re-victimization and their career would be subject to a disadvantage and as we hear all the stories of the victims they basic issue we have is their concern or fear of coming forward. i want to ask both of you. you have to see the culture of the military that part of the problem of what happens in this case and the number of cases you have is the fear of people who are fit dems. i want to ask you to discuss that. the fear of the victims and how you change that culture. the second thing as and general welsh he madeacomment that i kind of cringed at because i hear this and the military and it's a term that goes partly to
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some of the disconnect of the view of this. you said we have to stop bad behavior. it's not bad behavior. it's a crime and i think the people around it the non-victims they don't feel comfortable because they have a similar fear and we only have 30 seconds of you could comment on that. >> the bad behavior was referring to is the behavior before a crime is committed by people who officially commit a crime and we don't stop the adverse behavior. of the potential perpetrators. the key to solving this problem, every time i talk to an air force officer the first question i ask about this issue is why on what was undoubtedly the worst day of the victims life did they not turn to us for help? we stand beside them in combat areas and we go to war with them and protect each other's lives. we talk about this constantly. we are missing something fundamental in the human-to-human interaction that will allow them to feel safe enough to come to us and report
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and let's put our arms around them and help us through that horrible event in their lives. you are right congressman that is at the heart of the problem. >> gentlemen if you make that your priority we will be able to go a long way in being able able to address this. >> ms. tsongas. >> yes congressman turner has alluded to the fear factor for pairing i think you know there are many of us on this committee to take this issue very seriously and many who have worked so hard to address it and move you all a heads. so i thank you both for the efforts you have put forth to address sexual misconduct. it's a crime that continues to shock us with regularity. ..
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but i asked her if there was prevalent as i was beginning to learn and she said man, i am more afraid of my own soldiers than the enemy. so that is still this is a very challenging situation and the cultural change is to change not just among officers, but enlisted service members who make up 80% of the force. so as he talked about what you're doing and started not to talk, how do you change culture across the 80%? what are you doing that that
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level to encourage everyone to embrace the effort to are currently engaged and because if you don't and are successful, we will be coming back again and again and again. you will tell us story, but we continue to hear very shocking situations u.s.a. will not occur again. >> thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment on this. they never said it will not occur again. we can't accept this. we all know that. human behavior as you well know because you're actively involved in this every single day is difficult to change. i don't believe the entire air force has a culture of sexual assault. i believe their unit, places over time as people change in
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personalities take over the retreat pocket. that's what happened that this investigation. i don't believe everybody in the united states air force accepts a culture of sexual assault. we have officers come and see us come the civilians who have daughters who are working side-by-side with arafat around the world. they're not going to tolerate a culture of sexual assault. >> what do you do change the culture not the wing commander? whatever specific steps specific steps you can take to begin to address that quite >> server simple things. increase the battle rhythm in addressing this issue. this is a sheet that shows that to descend on every level of supervision for january to march march 2013. pasting fake videos for this youth air force, commander conferences, four-star sessions,
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comanches sessions at every level. it says that the unit level. every chief insider gets together to discuss this issue. its commanders close to the squadron level. roll call at the flag level and it's in every training, every pme quarters. commander is getting the discussion going and keeping it going not just for a short period of time, but so it becomes part of who we are. >> how do you institutionalize once you're no longer the air force chief of staff? how to make sure that continues click >> and meet with the response team on the air staff because you have two drivers have multiple levels. if i'm out of town, my bases or runs as verse there lieutenant general darrell johnson are experts in this area. we created to reduce that where you bring in something new,
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something we haven't tried. some idea somewhere else remember congress, an advocacy group, university or service that tried some thing between a demographic group and the logic of implementing only create a battle with them. were implementing new ideas, assessing how well they work. we continued the ones that seem to be making a difference. it's got to become part of the fabric of how we operate. we talk about it, communicate regularly, come up with the purchase to increase effectiveness. we had to do the same thing on the command site. >> gemma ladies time expired. mr. kaufman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for coming here today to testify on the problems of sexual assault in air force
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basic training at lackland air force base. one question i have come the general rice, one of the conclusions that it is was to reduce the train time, the number of weeks at lackland air force base, is that correct? >> it was a recommendation in the investigation, the 46 recommendation i said i would deal with in a different forum. we're looking at the look of basic military training at the length of the training will be determined by training they need to accomplish and not specifically on addressing this issue. >> let me just tell you obviously training is inadequate because you have a culture of the united states air force that allows these pervasive assaults to occur by your senior enlisted person now during basic training
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the purpose of basic training or entry-level period of training in many branches of service, and i've been through two. army or inquiries to indoctrinate the soldier and airman, marine or soldier into customs and courtesies into the rows associated with the code of military justice equally. so obviously some in his messina not training. so you need to reinforce the training, not reduce the training they need to come out of their come of the men and women in uniform served in the united states air force with a solid understanding of what the values of the united states air force are because obviously those senior enlisted that
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perpetrated these crimes were not sufficiently indoctrinated as to the values that the united states air force. would you like to respond? >> yes, sir. i completely agree that what makes this so egregious and military training is exactly the reason you stated, which is this is the place where we have to inculcate the basic alleys of our service on our newest air force. when we violate the trust that we have to do that in that responsibility is difficult to describe the damage that happens to individuals and assets in the dictation. i agree 100%. >> everything you write, there's an element of training to this, but at the end of the day we have people who knew well what the rules and policies were, who
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knew well the difference between right and wrong and decided to make a wrong choice. so part of that i can address this. it has to do people size of what they perceive as wrong and what is right and how i get it that is partially training. but i think i've had to think more broadly about how i affect calculus about actions that they're going to take. if i would look at this not just a major state respect is, having people make the right decision because it's the right decision, but a recognition that some people will not be dissuaded regardless of the training i have peered out that you had to make a calculation of the consequences of their actions are going to be negative enough, so as much as i concentrate on the training piece of this, i'm
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also focusing on they detect, deter and hold accountable piece because i know there are people i have to do that with. >> i would accrue to him a critical that is that i think it's important that those entering the service have the moral foundation. the people that don't have a foundation can put into the tapestry to the world. at the end of the day, everything will be a calculus issue described as to the risk and reward for my conduct versus what's morally the right thing to do. i do want to stress that discipline comes from that entry-level training. of course i think no doubt it has to be reinforced at all times. thank you for your testimony today. i yield back. >> determines time expired.
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>> thank you for your testimony. i probably represent san antonio, texas, home of lackland air force base. i think when their skin the site is, and is essentially two things that must happen. we need to make sure justice is swiftly served and learn from our mistakes and implement policies to change practices. in regard to that, do we know, have investigated whether any of this occurred at any basic training units and military branches? was heard to be believed in the last three years there is something specific to that environment it didn't happen somewhere else at a different time. can he speak to the scope of the investigation and whether there has been an indication of problems anywhere else? >> i do know and i won't speak
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for services, but each one of them is the direction of defense committees their military training equivalent program and has reviewed the report we have written on it and looked at the issues we have found as they apply to their system. so i know that there has been a review done by the other services. i cannot speak to what they found as a result of their reviews. >> congressman also come the secretary of defense early in process as general rice to come forward and give him an update unwittingly signing. as a result of the initial update, secretary ordered an assessment of military training for other services that is ongoing and will be delivered shortly. i don't have a delivery date, but the next couple. anything learned from this
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license are shared. part of the effort initiated mentioned before and will communicate with the other services training programs and make connections for reaching interaction, not after something ugly occurs. we hope to share all this at the other services that have been fully briefed on the findings and recommendations. all of that orchestrated to the secretary of defense sexual assault prevention office. >> finally, have you seen an effect on recruiting and what has been the effect on morale of the soldiers? >> no impact that i can tell in this looked on recruiting. fortunately, we are still able to attract the best and brightest young men and women better nation has to offer and will continue to work on that. in terms of morale, this has
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been a significant, emotional event for people responsible for the training program at lackland. in general, the reaction of other instructors and supervisors when this first started to break was fun that their belief was this was a few bad apples. this does not represent any significant number of mp eyes. i think today they understand although it is 4% of the population, 40% is a much larger number than anyone would have suspect did existed. so they've had to both recognize that this is in fact a real problem.
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they have to recognize they have a significant part to play in addressing the problem. i think they've embraced the changes, many of them, which have run against the tradition of the way we've done things in the past. part of what we are doing, and where area. this is an ongoing process, is to work to have them understand that they have to take control of this issue. if were going to be fully successful, they have to be part of the solution and this is an ongoing process of transformation that we're well on our way towards, but i'm not in any way ready to declare victory. >> thank you, general. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. runyon. >> thank you, chairman. kind of getting through talking about culture environment,
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compared to your first weather service says, how much of it -- have either of you ran the numbers for seen the numbers? , near people comfortable in a situation and created about consider changeover in holding people accountable more often than not? general rice, d.c. were going with that? >> let me answer the question. if i don't answer fully, please re-ask it. i agree having people especially in an environment that can be as challenging as basic military training for too long a period of time exposes them to the issues and challenges that can be corrosive over time. we have to pay attention to how long we allow someone to serve in these positions that is part
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of the solution as we move forward. they're going to restrict the last time you can serve as an error, for example, to three years. it used to be four years. we are going to divide the duty day and half feature not having contact during that entire duty day with trainees. it's a way of getting up this issue of exposure over time that we believe can be very corrosive, both in terms of an individual and development of a culture. culture sometimes is used in a negative way. every group of people, whether two, 200 or 2000 is the way human beings react to each other. most aspects are very positive. how we relate to each other, reinforce each other. there's lots of elements of culture i want to have as part of basic training amongst trainees and trainers said they
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can reinforce the positive elements of what they have to have a part of this environment. you have to be careful with that culture because it can over time become insular and develop negative elements you have to be careful about. so part of the changes we have made it to ensure in addition to people that are part of basic military training, but of combat for a second or third assignment , important for us to have the right experience levels throughout the chain of command. we also have more people who are not part of the culture in terms of having previous experience. so i swiped the most senior enlisted level we are bringing a chief master sergeant to a not then former military training and start yours because it gives a fresh assay is important to inject into this group of
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people. >> you did answer the question. thank you very much. the place are healthier as a society. we always say if you see some income if they send thing. when you're in any situation, any group in your personal relationships with your buddy, you tend not to raise the question. as far as what do you do -- is there anything you can do on a disciplinary aspect of the to codify more stringent penalties? to just encourage behaviors as were discussed? >> we have a standard of behavior we demand of our instructors. there's been disciplinary action taken because people do things they didn't report in the right way. so i have a set of policies that
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require reporting of maltreatment are not training. if anyone sees something, they have to answer for that nonreporting as part of the process of accountability we have for this standard we put in place. there was a sanction, but i stay with this works properly, that is sort of a secondary way to address the problem. when we have that working in the way we needed to work to be most effective, the instructors and people within the system will be deemed in a way i don't have to use the hammer in order to achieve the result. again, this is a work in progress. we have to recognize regardless of the screens i used to bring
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people in, i'm still going to have some people that i have to use a variety of tools to achieve the result. >> ms. davis. >> thank you, mr. chairman for being here. as you know, a few of us had a chance to go to lackland him out to commend them for opening up the opportunity for the questions we need to ask to have access, particularly who spoke with us under discussion was very compelling. i wonder if you have or how you have engaged them particularly because they had a background from which to speak about this. certainly i'm feeling ostracized on this whole issue of culture and what do we do in terms of
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bystanders who have information that is not shared. how is the information used as you move forward? and did you actually talk to them? one of the things we've heard from them, which was really surprising was nobody had actually asked them. >> thank you, congresswoman davis. i appreciate the question. when major general woodward conducted her investigation, she had an extensive piece of her research peace and love talking to instructors and several recommendations based directly on the feedback she got from instructors. subsequent to that, the wing commander in place now and the group commander who is directly responsible for basic military training has conducted a series
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of engagements with our instructors. the absolute first thing the new wing commander did was sit down with military training and start yours. have a session to let them know what his expert patients were, importantly to convey clearly what the outside world was thinking about this and to get feedback from them and let them know that he was completely open to their assessment of what we need to do to move forward because he understands better than anyone that he cannot do this alone. >> i know you've spoken to the increased communication and that's very important. one of the things we did here and i send this is related as well, that having some informal -- this sounds contrary, but informal mandatory meetings for everybody to have a chance to sit down and talk
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about what they see because trying to get these issues of environment and climate and culture questionnaires, most people don't believe you got there. so having the opportunity to sit down and it is mandatory everybody's doing it and it doesn't mean someone is going and telling on their peers, which is a really big problem that you thought discovered i know. i didn't quite see that in the recommendations and i'm just wondering, where does that issue fall when it comes to the broader areas of recruiting an oversight and review that clearly have not all been instituted to? >> you're right. that is not a specific recommendation. but i want to underscore the 45 recommendations are just the
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starting point. we've done a lot more since then and will continue to do more in the past and i am welcoming on what else we can do. you and i've talked about this issue. it's an important one that we need to find the right way to address. i want to do it in the right way. he gets back to the idea of feedback. >> i guess my question would be why not, why something like that is cost, personnel and a follow-up question in the terms of female and what you doing about that? >> volunteer question of a code and then turn it back on the female numbers. first of all, a lot of people have spoken. secretary of the air force last
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fall it done the same thing. the leadership as he mentioned have all talked to them. a lot of people have talked to the mti's to get feedback. the number one that i took away was those people in the passion they have for this problem, they feel exactly the way a few minutes or air force. our military out to be written server. we have a structure, ability to command, control and the ability to punish. we have tools to be good role models for this. we have the american people. >> general, please come a time is expired. could you please finish the answer for the record. >> mr. nation. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as a graduate from lackland air force base many years ago,
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really disturbing as they move across, but my big concern having been a sheriff and prosecuted uninvestigated train an assault cases is that the imitation, how we deal with those in particularly as an organization, how does the process go? sexual assault or sexual harassment don't always go hand in hand, that they are different in certain aspects. the commander makes the decision whether or not it goes through its judicial process by nonjudicial process. how do they make that decision? >> it was sometimes be handled through other venues. very often it will be raised by reports of equal opportunity office on base or better general
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on-base. the investigation conducted by the office is a formal process. that reports back to the commander and there's a decision on do. is there something that escalates this to a level under the ecm jay? to make decisions after the process is completed. a report every sexual assault takes us to a different level. the office of special investigations about and jumps into a process bound and judged. >> to do after chain of command to report that? >> they do not. you can report to make opportunity office of inspector general. go to your chain of command and report any number of ways. clearly reporting as part of the problem. despite options, people do not report routinely on sexual assault or harassment.
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that's one of the major issues. >> thus the climate issue in regards how you get folks to come forward and particularly in a military application because they want to cooperate in graduate. they want to be able to move up to the ranks and they are fearful that an allegation would be used against them versus a fair and judicious application. so what are you doing specifically for the vague terms to encourage them to come forward without the worry of retaliation? >> we stop this when they were recruits. the recruiter provides them with a one-on-one thing about what is and what is sent aloud in terms of behavior when they get to basic military training.
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that briefing is repeated once they get to basic military training within the first days they arrived. and then they repeat in terms of expectations. it's not a silver bullet, but one of the means we try to overtime set the expert tatian of what printed people to our organization should expect and what is normal behavior and what is at verbal behavior and try overtime to engagements in the right way to develop a level of trust in the person conveying that information and in the system and how it will react. it's like an important way basic training is other avenues for trainees to report. we've added more sexual assault
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coordinators who will be in the community and have more opportunity to have engagements as trainees. we've added someone who we hope they will feel may be more comfortable talking in one-on-one sessions. in more leadership in general will be part of the equation. none of these at one point solutions, the part of a total package that has us in the right direction. >> your victim advocates and investigators, do they work hand-in-hand to hope that the them move forward in regards to dealing with the allegation? >> special victims counsel job is to advise victim to make it as simple, understandable and painless and streamline the process to include court-martial
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activity so they are removed to the lack of understanding of poor communications that often makes the situation worse. >> gentleman's time expired. this buyer. >> thank you, mr. chairman and generals for your participation. i have a letter dated november 162 general rice for me that i would like to submit for the record, mr. chairman. >> without objection so ordered. what year was that? >> last year. we all had a meeting about this document. we talked about $17,000. we talked about are due to. general rice reference 7700 interviews and not one of the victims, not one of the 50 plus victims at lackland.
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46 recommendations came out. how can any be complete without first having talked to at least some of the terms? the letter i sent to general rice stated in november thought to have this sick insanity. i've yet to get a response from general rice. >> i don't think the effort can be complete. >> let me go on. the trainees we met with, we have lunch with them. there were 17, 18, 19 years of age. they were young, naïve, ernest. as i sat there having lunch, i thought my god, these are the issues my daughter. all of these trainees at the edges of my daughter and my daughter would no more have the ability to say no to a military training and struck her who you
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are taught is the law. you do everything that training instructor tells you. there's been a lot of talk here today about all the things happening, but would have been his military training tours directed these trainees to go to supply closet and into the laundry room, where they were then sexually assaulted in raped. two instructors admitted to having had sex with 10 of their trainees each of these instructors were married. in the end, do you agree or not agree that consent should not be part of this quotient? general rice said some of these were willingly gauged in sex. as i understand it, the sub on
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is to never be alone with the trainees. never alone. so can a trainee willingly had sex with her and struck her? your answer. >> i would never be able to look you in the eye and tell you that no trainee at any age, 32, 34 years old who go through this program would ever offer their personal consent in a situation. i don't know that. i can't judge that and that's a little problematic under the law. let me tell you what i do agree with. an individual serving as the training and struck her who has a relationship with a trainee has no place in the air force said there should be a present distinction under some mechanism to discharge them. >> i'm introducing a bill today will basically say no longer can a consensual relationship
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between a train and instruct her in trainee be used as a defense for the acts of the training instructor. would you support that legislation? >> i'd have to ask my legal experts to advise them in the technicalities of that legislation. i would support you in an effort to make sure someone who has that relationship and air force program is unacceptable. >> -- kicked out of the military. thank you. a military expert, professor haggled recently said the you see mj is something recognized by george the, that they're very similar to what is going on in the u.k. the united kingdom understandable like this in 2006 and they created a separate unit that was staffed with experts in
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investigations and prosecutions within the military to handle these cases so the decision was not made the unit commander. i was in 2006. in 2007, they found good order and discipline stated tax, that affects the unit commanders were relieved not having to handle cases anymore. i would like to encourage you to speak with your counterparts at the u.k. to see how their system works and see if we would be better served moving in a system like that. i yield back. >> dr. lindstrom. >> i'm encouraged to hear you say there is a training session for new recruits before they go to dmt and i think that's very hopeful. i guess my question is how do we
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get to recruits to fully understand or believe that reporting bad behavior will be supported by the leadership and will not harm them, that they develop the trust and notice that's the right thing to do. what might be her suggestions beyond not? >> very challenging. a printer basic military military training as well, not if most of them are sent, but at the air force we do the same thing, so that in that position and understand fully with these trainees think about this environment and how challenging it would be, looking back at my time and experience to talk about things like this. sometimes it's very challenging. as much as we want people to do certain things, i think we have to deal with the reality of the environment they are in uncharted ikebana from their is. part of this has to do with
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getting more feedback from trainees and looking at those barriers. the most important element for decision we can make in this regard has to do with trust. at the end of the day, if people don't trust you 3% or institution, the recent anything we do in terms of training that will have to make the decision to take what they perceive as personal risk. as we train our instructors and how to relate to the trainees, how we train other people within this environment to rebate to trainees, who we try to ensure how that level of trust and confidence within the system is a part of the work we are undertaking. i don't have the answer today, but i know that's a place has got to get better at if i'm going to be more successful in
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the future. i think we can do a lot better, but i'm not ready to tell you today that i figure that out. >> mr. johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. a person who is training under a trainer and has a consensual, some might say sexual relationship, sexual. in other words, sexual the boss might induce consensual, but what is going through the mind of the trainee is that i need to
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do this in order to get through training successfully. so it is safe to rise, a mental type of situation. may not be forcible physically, but forcible mentally that is why if there is not one now, there should be a crime that makes it a per se violation to have sexual, to be a or not, between and instruct her and a trainee and i think that is probably something that is
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tsongas has in her bill. now, a different situation between say a former trainer or trainer who formally trained someone who's made it through training and now that person is added to dominion and control of the trainer, then there could be a consensual sexual relationship that does not equate to rape. it might be unprofessional or something like that. i'm not saying it is at all times noncriminal. but let's just say that a former trainer and a former trainee -- a former trainer and a person
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that he trained, he or she trained at a time previously are in a sexual relationship, but the woman or the man, does it them -- the sum might say i don't want to do this today and that is forced on them. so that is a classic rape allegation. for someone just took authority and impose themselves on a weaker individual physically. i looked at the guidelines, the list of commander directed investigation recommend nations and i see nothing about training of the military police in the
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gathering of physical evidence does support the accused -- i'm sorry, but his support the accuser in making the allegation of a forcible rape because you only have one word against the other. no other witnesses, so you've got to prove the case by some physical evidence, they rape is what is generally called. why is that we don't make provisions for these types of cases, which i think are pretty typical, in addition to the other sexual assault cases, harassment, nonphysical activities. why is that were not dealing with this activity of rape and forcible and dig site that in
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terms of police investigation of prosecutorial ability to prosecute effectively? 's been a we are. we train 24 special victims investigators to this point. we've started a new class model on the army cid class advised by outside efforts to put together a curriculum to focus on that investigation. we had some outside experts to give us feedback on the subject is. we were on classes to the course routinely. we sent 50 air force, judge advocate through the course before starting this month. we'll continue to further train investigators and skills required to investigate these actions. my opinion part of the problem we have trouble sticking is because the way they handled the investigative cycle is critical
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to them be willing to study with their commitment to identifying and prosecuting an assailant. >> the gentleman's time has expired. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible] >> i'm sorry, 17% of those women reported the incident. my question and i apologize, i'm brand-new and this is my first hearing. i don't have the benefit of our
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veterans and on the committee. if i am a women in the military and i am sexually basaltic, how to report that? to a call from a cell phone? which generates the report? >> and a number of tanks. there's hotlines at every base. you can tell someone in your chain of command. everyone knows you can go to the inspector general comes security forces, the base hospital or clinic and ask for help there. anywhere in that network is committed to the mechanism that start the activity forward. the problem is most people don't know who to talk to or they could talk to, it is that they don't feel comfortable reporting. the congressman mentioned sometimes they are concerned about getting in trouble for someone holding them accountable some are concerned about their family finding out, friends
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finding out, spouse finding out. some of them are embarrassed. some of them feel guilty about the incident. all these things come together to create a problem that people don't go comfortable stepping forward. it is something we have to work constantly. i don't have an easy answer. new in the job world community shocked every time you hear this, just like i am. >> do we have in the military something specific because this is crime. do we have a whistleblower protection in the military? and i protected and no that if i am the victim of a crime but i know i protected? and i'm not familiar to understand and i protected if i go and sin the victim of a crime? >> may be. there's no hard firm on this is
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your protected if you come forward and report something i'm never one to make sure you will never suffer a consequence for any action you took. i think in the past there's been many more incidents where people were held accountable for activity involved in or around any that were they became a victim. that's unacceptable. in this particular case, none of the victims have been held accountable or make you feel like they were guilty of anything. that's what has to has to be going forward. we have a sexual assault toward nader. as soon as we find out any part of this reporting chain that we have a victim, they are contacted by the assault coordinator and all the things we can provide are available to them. i just want first the investigative staff. that's the last thing we want to worry. it's the personal care, counseling, forensic examining
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required. >> when i call and report the incident, and my match with gender gender reports? if i am raped, in my reporting to a woman? >> and it totally, the majority are women, but no, that's not the case everywhere. >> was the ratio? i simply don't buy the ratio of military start this? i don't buy your acronyms, i apologize. but if your basic military instructor, how many women versus men do we have in the air force? >> 11% in the movie to 25%. air force one is about 18%. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. would you agree with me the
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command chief with the commander said the command climate of the unit? >> comanches are an integral part of that, but i believe it is fundamentally the commander's responsibility to maintain the command climate within a unit. >> and the comanches is like the interface between enlisted folks, ncos and commanders. >> certainly, yes. a critical link. >> general brise, how many female comanches do you have a lackland air force base on how many in the recruiting command? >> i can't give you an exact number. i'll take that for the record. >> i'd like to have that information. >> cheddar rice, can you tell me the accessibility and a female
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basic military training haas to reaching out to a female comanches? >> no, i can't give you an exact answer to that question. i would answer it this way. we have a number of females who are in the instructor or staff or supervisory or command position. we are moving to a place where we have more females in this position. i don't select commanders based on their gender. i don't select comanches based on their gender. i do believe the military training instructor level that responsible for 50 trainee should clued one female, but beyond that, we have not made
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another determination to make assignments of leadership positions based on gender. >> have you in any way, general brise, and powered your comanches to do with this problem that seems to be happening or seems to have been happening. i'm sure it's not happening now, but have you had powered comanches to act with this? and if so, how. >> no. at my level, i have not taken any direct action to specifically empower command chiefs other than making it mandatory that rank is no longer a senior master sergeant, the chief master sergeant, which is not a trivial matter. i believe you understand this and your background and significance of that. fundamentally i have to depend on a commander to use resources i have provided to him or her to
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maintain a proper command environment and it's up to that commander to use those resources, whether it's the first sergeant, command chief, operations officer, supervisor or anybody else to use a combination of resources in a unique way because every commander is different to maintain good order and discipline in the proper environment and its problematic if i start to dictate how they put the team of people together. >> i would agree with you that it he will be problematic, but i think you have a problem that needs to be dealt with. i would suggest having dealt with these kinds of problems in my previous career that by setting the proper command climates, you can resolve those problems. an inherent way of doing that is
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empowering and reliant on command cheese, bp nines, chief master sergeant's to date the commander in ensuring ncos and every one of those mti's. they understand the commander's intent. i yield the balance of my time. >> doctor hack. >> thank you for your service. but her discussion about the climate and what is done to encourage individuals victims to report retoucher richard duchenne. general race, you've talked about what to report and how to report. as a military commander, i know
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love is training programs basic and recurrent and the problem is whether it is d.o., consideration of others seem to become stagnant powerpoint or people said in a classroom with eyes glazed over. these programs have been going on for years that these incidents have occurred even while training programs have been put forward. how do you judge the effect of mr. training programs that are supposed to be providing this initial entry servicemembers are those on the frontlines going to annual recurrent training sonny's topics to make sure they understand. the training we do is not on the air force. i'm an army guy. the training across the services isn't resonating. they continue beyond. how do we assess training programs out there to try to send the tide of these sexual
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insults and associated incidents click >> intestate question. i mentioned before the volumes of training and education programs and we continue to keep in place an add more. all services do this through the question is which are having an impact. expand those, emphasize those. quit wasting resources in people's time that could be better spent in a different way. we've talked to experts advising us on this topic. the one thing that caught me because i'm more interested in seeing if it works quickly. the experts say is that you be careful about that. they want on the impact until you get time to work. it takes a while, so the strategic part is that once we stick with that we have to
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refresh and make them applicable to our young work force. we had to put scenarios on youtube. we have to do the kinds of things that will attract them. it's not powerpoint. that is not quite a haul. that's the effort were focused on right now. how to energize that a bit to personal level, not the back of the room of 500 of your closest friends. >> and encouraged by that approach and i hope you share with her sister services. far too often it's a classroom and watching sites go buy for 30 minutes regardless of information absorbed by the person sitting in the chair. i applaud your effort to do some comprehensive assessment of what does work in making sure we push that out across the services. you die. thank you, mr. chair. >> the gentleman yields back.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. general welsh, either questionably should be directed towards you. how are the victims of this investigation i lackland air force base clearly being cared for? >> thank you, man. this may be the most important question of the day. they're being cared for as little as possible. 59 victims suffered whatever level of support. 57 except for the resolve care, counseling, legal assistance, general rice can give you more details in the types of things they accepted. ..
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a few well such that they don't require support, and others have made full use of the support mechanisms that we have, so each one of these is a very individual case and individual decision. i am confident that we have made a good-faith effort to offer the support and conduct the investigations in a way that we
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have tried not to read victimize the victims. we try to honor their request if they simply as i just want to sort of move on here. i do think it's something i talk to my team about just as we have found out the initial answer if we free approach people many different rate over time that we can get them to build up a sufficient level of trust they will be more accurate with us because a victim said no i don't need any help that we should go back at some appropriate time interval and reoffered at assistance because it does change people's perceptions of this. i have all my list of things to do here the lack of reporting on
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the willingness to report incidences' as they happened i think right now every single darman is watching the situation and watching our victims to see how they are being treated and making decisions on whether to future reports or report on incidences' that could be going on right now and in the future that you were building a reputation right now on how you respond to these victims and will determine your success on getting more accountability and getting more reporting to be willing to come forward and talk about what we may or may not be happening so just know as we work our way through this process and try to bring a resolution and improvement to it that there are a lot of eyes on you and on how we are caring for the current dictums that we have and that we have an opportunity to do the best that we can to take care of them. i've looked at some of these recommendations and i have a specific question about one or two of them depending on how much time i have. one of the recommendations said shortened the linked to a maximum of three years and do not allow the fall on special
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duty assignments. with the stephen perpetrating a crime or assault against the victim there for longer periods of time they have a longer service rate in their position they held is that why the recommendation has been accepted? >> we did have some that were there for longer than three or four years. typically you won't serve as a military training instructor for that long and move on to a supervisory position so that lasts about serving as a military training instructor than it is consistent participation in the whole process. the idea is to serve one and move on to something else. >> my concern is i read this and assumed some of the perpetrators potentially for in these positions too long and that may be the climate with in that position as they were there for a longer period of time developed an attitude or
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environment where they felt that though it was marketable the longer they were there. i guess that is an answer by looking for is there is no consistency unlike the time in that position from the perpetrators. the gentleman that concludes the questions we have for the first panel. thank you for work that you're doing and we will excuse you and move to the second panel. this is the call for our last series of votes for the day to try to get as far as we can
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before we leave we have on the second panel david for the consultant, chief master sergeant united states air force retired with a service women's action network and technical surgeon jennifer norris retired from protect our defenders. >> thank you mr. chairman ranking members met and to the committee for giving me this opportunity to speak this morning to buy a critical psychologist researcher in the forensic consultant for the past 25 years i've studied rapists and i treated and evaluated men and women that suffer from sexual violence. the past ten years i've worked extensively with the service is
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in the u.s. military and simultaneously in the civilian sector life worked with dozens of universities across the state and law enforcement agencies with state and local prosecutors. my extensive contact with both military and civilian constitutions in the country provide me with a perspective on the problem of sexual violence by would like to articulate to the committee. sexual violence affects all nations and societies. they are not distinguished by whether or not they have a problem with sexual violence but rather by whether or not they actively enforce or come from the problem. the same is true for institutions with in those societies. it's perhaps a little ironic in the testimony the you've been hearing today. but in almost every respect for the u.s. military is doing more to come from the violence than any other institution in the united states. nevertheless despite their efforts there are serious problems in the services that have either yet to be addressed were yet to be fully resolved.
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for the sustained scrutiny by the congress are generally by advocacy groups some of which are represented here today. harvard the criticism of the military very often implies that its problems and shortcomings are unique. in my opinion this is not only grossly inaccurate, it also is a serious disservice to the country and lets other institutions in this country off the hook. and in so doing it puts the men and women in those institutions and communities at a greater risk of sexual violence. specifically our universities haven't confronted their problems with sexual violence with a commitment shown in the services there are few exceptions however in no university have i ever seen this type of commitment from leadership from the sustained efforts and tackling the very challenging problems that i've witnessed in the services. perhaps the most scathing criticism the military has
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received has been focused on the shortcomings and prosecuting cases of violence. again i believe this criticism is necessary. however our country would be well served of the criticism of the military prosecution record was placed in the contact of the sexual violence. with rare exceptions again there are enormous problems with the prosecution of sexual assaults and civilian jurisdictions. mahon stranger cases represent the vast majority of all sexual assaults. they are challenging cases to investigate and prosecute and very few civilian jurisdictions have made the necessary effort to train their staff to effectively take on these cases. as a result many non-stranger cases are in adequately investigated and never even taken into accordance. many local prosecutors failed to prosecute the types of monster cases military prosecutors. the services are making efforts and you heard reference to some of these this morning in the criminal response to sexual
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violence as this one example this was mentioned already the army is developed a two week course to train the investigators in the state of the art techniques investigating them on stranger cases and four injured 40 investigators are now being trained each year it's one of the much-needed improvements that take place in the military's criminal-justice response of sexual assault will take time for the improvements to a cold and be felt and there was much more work to be done improved training for investigators and prosecutors must continue to evolve and must be sustained. the services must confront the problem of the junior litigators' handling of complex sexual assault case is far too early in their professional development. on helpful by aziz and attitudes are present among some investigators through the process of the culture change that i think has been already stated will be a permanent
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process as an apology of handling the military sexual assault or is a criticism of its efforts to read this in my experience working with the service is both very good and very bad things are still happening. this is the reality in an institution that is undergoing significant and meaningful change and i suspect it will be a reality for some years to come. it is impossible to average these good and bad things they're simply both truth. if the system their efforts and of the congress continues to provide clear eyed scrutiny and if congress provides the resources that the services need to sustain their efforts the military will lead the country in demonstrate what is to confront sexual violence honestly with a sustained commitment. >> thank you, sergeant. >> good afternoon, chairman, and thank you, members of the
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committee. i said before you today having experienced sexual assault for multiple pushback tavist but as a survivor of sexual assault when i was a young air man and a second as an enlisted troup whose entire career is as a master sergeant who has supervised 1500 enlisted troops as a maintenance crib superintendent of had a direct dealings with all the personal issues that come with supervising people in today's air force and i will be sharing that with you today on enlisted in the air force in 1975 and was assigned to a squadron at the air force base. at that time the women trainees were segregated from the men both physically and in our course curriculum. falcon basic training i attended technical training at the air force base in my integration into the air force.
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i believe my leaders would handle that and that didn't happen i knew then i would never report and other sexual assault a year later at my first assignment i was sexually assaulted again. i did report it, nor did i ever discuss either of the two incidences' until after i retired 28 years later and was being treated for ptsd. while many things have changed in the air force since i enlisted the trauma of the sexual assault has not changed. it feels like someone has reached into you and sought the sole right out of view it is dramatic and it is ugly and for those of us that have survived it, we do so because of our strength and will to overcome what could otherwise be a crippling episode in our lives. i remained in the air force
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proud of my service. the reason i served far outweighed any incident in my life. this was my choice. also served alongside the nation's finest in an air force were honor integrity and service before self are a way of life. they make everyone absolutely understand that we have no problem removing anybody in the blink of an eye if they cross the standard and maybe that is where the general and i somewhat disagree they are one of the most important people in the military to stop this of the doug. they demonstrate what happens when leadership fails to be the basic trend is where our sons and daughters are at their very vulnerable. the power that military training instructors where the key always have over the airmen is
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perceived as absolute. turning young airmen, young men and women from all over the country into airmen is a transformational process where they represent the sole success of the transformation. turning to female leaders is not always an answer. the yardstick for an effective leader has nothing to do with their gender. we're all men are free from harassment and threatening work place doing what is right is genderless. i follow closely the recommended action and the disgrace and discuss and have the privilege of talking to general woodward and i applaud her for her efforts in looking into these issues. i believe the following steps that are being taken will have a positive effect on the training environment.
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i agree we should increase the number of the females to get least a percentage that they are in the air force. all basic training students should be exposed to both male and female. after all who will be leading them? increasing instructor to student ratio is an absolute must. i was shocked to find out the student ratio was roughly the same as when i went to basic training 35 years ago. a reasonable student instructor ratio is education 101. i also agree with the requirement to raise the rank of the technical surgeons and master sergeants have a good deal of experience in deterring and identifying and taking action. however, a non-volunteering assignment didn't work for and won't work now to revive had troops that have reviewed the duty as the death knell for their career.
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that means to change in the next generation of leaders. incentives to attract the best of the best of the answer, not to them on voluntary duty assignments. additionally by do not believe women should be segregated. we fight as one team. segregation and training did more harm than good an attempt to integrate thus into the air force. we want to be viewed as airmen first and you cannot do that coming from a segregated unit to meet our own history with racial integration should tell us that. for larger solutions we need to look at integrating women completely into the armed forces. reena of the combat exclusion policy. then we will be fully integrated source being able to do the job should be the standard, not whether you are male or female. i believe that as leaders we've taken our eye off the ball. we enabled the climate or the troops became honorable and we
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can train and train with untended is about leadership. we draw the line on what is acceptable behavior to define and enforce it. i don't believe we can legislate the leadership but we can certainly have you told our leaders responsible and liable for the welfare of their troops that is an absolute must. in the maintenance career field where the leaders are passionate about doing what is right to protect the pilots while they fly, our leaders need to feel as passionate about protecting the troops as they do the flying mission. you cannot minimize the risk 20 but the leaders canny and better insure they are there to make three decisions and do the right things. our troops demand nothing less. thank you mr. chairman. >> devotees just about at an end. i have to reassess the committee at this time to get rid of the opportunity to vote. we will vote and it will be at
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least a half an hour. thank you. >> [inaudible conversations] >> we will call the meeting of the house armed services committee that order. thank you for your understanding as we've run across to cast our votes and i assure the members will be coming back shortly. at this time we would rick recognize the sergeant for her testimony. >> thank you for having me. i am jennifer norris. ayman air force veteran, wife to my husband, lee, national lab a
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ticket for the military rape crisis center and protect our defenders advocacy board member. protect our defenders is a place for survivors to build community come amplify our voices, support one another and take collective action. it is with a heavy heart that i appear here today by speak not for myself but the thousands of survivors whose lives are altered by this epidemic. a culture that punishes the victim in a broken justice system. i want to recognize the service members who have not survived deutsch to murder or suicide and their families who are still waiting for answers i've stood
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outside the stores with fellow veterans and survivors we've delivered a petition asking you to open an investigation into the scandal and its causes. there were 30 victims. now there are at least 59. since august the dod estimates roughly 10,000 more men and women in uniform have been assaulted. we hope this hearing is the start of fundamental reform to be removed by yes, a conflict of interest and opportunity for abuse of authority that precludes justice. we ask that this be the first in a series of hearings to fully explore the reasons this must be occurring and what must be done to prevent them. at the san antonio express put
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it, congressional killings will get the systemic failings that the trials cannot can't reinforce the concept of civilian oversight. both are needed. core issues must be addressed. the committee should hear from the current victims and from independent experts on issues of the victim treatment and the military justice system. the cycle of repeated scandals, self investigations and ineffective reforms must be broken. because no victims from the current scandal have been invited to testify i will share one of their stories from the local press. a young air force recruit who said her basic training
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instructor sexually assaulted her testified. after obey and the orders she was frightened to protest the advances in a dark supply room. the defense asked the woman if she resisted the advances. i was too scared to, she replied. sometimes when somebody's too scared to talk, does that mean they want to do something? a military judge found him not guilty of sexually assaulting a trainee allowing the instructor to face a maximum one-year prison sentence. her story is very similar to mine. when i joined, i was a 24-year-old, a small-town girl with an idea like a childhood.
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soon i was raped and assaulted by superiors. two of the predators pled guilty to sexual assault. they were honorably discharged with full benefits. by not dealing with a culture that provides easy targets for predators, we are hurting our military and our society. the predators' often appear to be great troops, achieve high rank, are very charismatic and manipulative. but that is only part of the problem. the military justice system elevates an individual's discretion overruled law. too often the commanders go to a solution is to sweep the problem under the rug and kick the victim out.
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often legislative reforms are inconsistently applied, and necessarily incumbered or just not implemented. in my work as an advocate, it breaks my heart to see the same problems to david -- today that existed when i joined. 16 years ago. sorry. 39% of female victim's report the perpetrator was of higher rank, and 23% report it was someone in their chain of command. the air force at lackland report
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and previous reports indicate a failure of leadership. how many more times must the congress hear this before enacting fundamental reform. why didn't the air force interview the victims to determine if they tried to report of your reporting and why according to the dod data, 40% of that service members are afraid to report because of the reprisals that occurred. this isn't just an air force problem, it is surface wind. many secretaries of defense have declared a zero tolerance policy, yet recent actions challenge that notion.
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in september, the secretary proposed the president signed an executive order which would have even separated the military's rape shield. in 2011 the military argued that rape is incident to surface. had i known this, that the military dismisses rate has an occupational hazard, i would never have joined. according to the l.a. times in 1992 in response to the scandal, quote, several lawmakers proposed stripping the armed services of their role in the sexual molestation cases. the difference and the patience that congress has shown he has
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come at a great cost to our service members, our security and ultimately our society. brigadier general, a retired brigadier general recently said the only credible solution is an independent special victims unit completely outside of the unit chain of command under professional civilian oversight, and i agree. i ask you as our elected representatives, please, please don't let us wait. god bless our brave men and women in uniform to this but i want to thank all of you for your testimony of sergeant for your courage to be here today to tell us your story.
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certainly acts of sexual assault under any conditions are especially hammes but committed by those in position of power and under the code of authority, they are especially reprehensible and we certainly appreciate you taking the time to be here today. this question is to ms. mcnally and ms. norris. the dod and military services have taken a number of steps albeit maybe not enough to develop a sense and refine the respect of sexual assault response programs. as individuals who are regularly involved with providing care such as sexual assault, what do you consider to be the trade mark of a good response program? >> thank you. a big problem is understanding why we go on reported, and i
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could see that the generals are putting their arms around this very same thing trying to explain that. and i can tell you speaking for myself and for some of the victims that i supervised over the years they don't report it because number one, it's so traumatic and ugly, and they know that there will be public knowledge so the number one fear no matter how compassion and you are is that this will go out and how could i have let this happen to me? the man have the same response when they are sexually assaulted so the number one thing is something very personal, a quick, dramatic as we to be public knowledge. one of the biggest fears. the second thing is it is a he said she said, and unless you see evidence that the commanders have removed from the service with consequences anybody that
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enables an environment allows harassment to even start then you have no trust in your system, you have to see evidence. not the responses to endeavor crisis comes up in the sexual assault, and finally is you know, we have the he said and she said then what everyone likes to use the word accountability, and i think that is thrown around a lot. it means we've moved them to another assignment. it needs to be responsible and they need to be held liable cities are reasons that we don't support sexual assault. until they understand that, they cannot present a viable sexual response, sexual assault response program and any place whether it be in the air force or in college. that is a fundamental thing you should be out there talking to them, talking to your troops and commanders can't do this.
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>> anything to add? >> i've provided you with my personal testimony to give you a little bit of background so that we don't have to go into detail. unfortunately, the rape is very different on the predators that a salted meat. it occurred within the first two years of my career and for those of you that have served in the military, you recognize quickly that rank does come with privileges meaning when you are lower enlisted coming you are a bad guy or girl and you are new to the institution. so you haven't been able to establish the credibility necessary to make a claim against someone that's been there for 18 years and appears to be the best friend or the
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right hand man of the commander. you are stuck if you want a career you don't want to say anything because you get retaliated against. you get thrown out. you get beat up. and that's what we need to stop. we need to remove the chain of command from the reporting process. it's absolutely detrimental to us being able to report safely, and if you think about it, it's actually good for the perpetrator, too not that i stand up for them by any means, but a fair process would be fair process for both. so think about it. commander, a 18 year veteran active-duty guide just raped me and i know that he's your best
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friend and he's had your back this whole time. i know i just entered, but just wanted to let you know. it doesn't work that way. you are too scared to tell the commander because first of all, it's alleged in every case. very much of a trigger for me. second of all, others start to think that no, you've got to be careful around that girl because she might say that you sexually assaulted her. so you almost become a leper, and because of the small community within the squadron, the rumor mill starts flying. the victim doesn't want to talk about what happened. i didn't want to tell anybody about what happened to me aside from the commander because he
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was the only person i had to go to. i wanted it kept confidential. i was ashamed. i was embarrassed to the bike couldn't believe it happened and continued to happen and pushed me to the point that i was forced to report to prevent another rape. so, this small business where they are putting the commanders in charge, i'm not saying every commander is a bad man or a bad woman, you know, what i am saying is that to put that a decision making authority in one person's hands, that is a lot to ask of not only the commander, but also for the rest of us. you know, she decides one thing. i don't want it, what recourse do i have so if they decide they
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don't want to believe you? have fun with that. >> thank you. based on your you believe they are doing worse than the institutions when it comes to the prosecution and sexual assault cases? in your view what are the areas in the military's response to the sexual violence that meet the most attention and improvement? >> this is something that is impossible to average. there are several civilian jurisdictions that are doing quite good work in both investigating, prosecuting the sexual assaults but there are exceptions. by and large it is a pretty bad picture. likewise in the services, there are some good things that have started to happen in terms of training for investigators and the jag officers.
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it may be too soon. i did with army job officers and to hear them say that they have seen better reports that is encouraging and it's very anecdotal but if you start hearing that more and more, there would certainly be encouraging. about three months ago, i consulted on a court martial and it was an anomaly in that things worked really well. everything went well. everybody did their jobs really well. what i saw you that experience or is it possible but if you have officers and agents and the judge, the military judge well-trained to understand the issues this is a process that can be respectful to victims and respectful to the rights of the accused and can handle even the
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complexities of the assault well and there was a good outcome from my perspective there was a conviction and a good sentence. so it's possible. it's still obviously happening rarely. and i would hope that if the training that has begun is sustained that we will see more of that. i also hope that if you see more of that some of what has been described what see incremental changes in bill loveless trusten the system which would lead hopefully to more victims being able to report. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman and all of you for being here. i'm sorry i missed a first part of the testimony. but sergeant norris, i appreciate what you said because in many ways you capture this dilemma that we are facing.
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if i may, mr. chairman, briefly because i had asked about what we were able to capture that was spoken to at lackland. we have spoken to many in the they were clear about what they felt should be some key recommendations and i just disappointed and i want to conclude this in the record that the response came out about them generally and i think that the new we were talking about whistle-blowers, and to our knowledge i think the people that were willing to come forward because it is in the issue of sort of seeing through the good guys and being able to
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say it's not all that it appears but many of the victims grapple with we're doing a better job of training prosecutors and we've had an opportunity to hear some of that evolution on the way that we do that but it's still a big problem. i wanted to ask because i must say i have been reluctant to take this out of the chain of command because everything else is in the chain of command and for us to pull this out in some ways says we don't believe the officers are capable of dealing with this issue, so i wanted to just come back and ask of the testimony that we have, and i often think that it's better to go with this kind of testimony and then follow up frankly what is it that you heard from was
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helpful but you think is moving forward well and what is problematic? because what we are interested here is what is the most effective and what will change the culture and change the ability of people to have any trust. so if you could respond to that there would be helpful. are you talking about when i was listening to general welch and general price? >> yes would you like to respond to that? senate i had a very difficult time listening to them today not only because of my own experience but also because of what's happening on this day. this morning i got a call from a client that is in the air force having issues with so despite what the general is saying, which could very likely be very genuine, and they really do
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care, they are basically putting their trust in each individual commander to do the right thing. and in my eyes, that means okay, commander coming your judge, jury and executioner, you make the decisions. and what is happening is as the commanders depending on who they are even as they are schooled in this it is hard for me to understand the whole thing, and i was a victim of it. so what we are finding is that the commanders are not always giving people the right information in addition to even dealing with it. so they are not saying okay. okay maybe we need to contact them and do something about this. they have the ability to stop it right there to read all the wood
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tickets for a commander to say this is alleged it is a he said she said. so the victims pretty much fall apart and decide i don't trust anybody and i am not doing anything with that. i miss the ball of fire and i fought on every single thing. they include male and female. we are equal. why is it that commanders in the military are given a special position that in society we have civilian courts, we have supreme
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court's, we have the ability to appeal, we have valvista for options available to us, but in the military we have one person that may or may not help you. >> from your experience as well looking at this beyond the military what is your sense of this? again in terms of pulling that out from the military accountability. >> on the military justice system this is purely for my own experience and anecdotally. it's a significant and it's a solution that has to be found. the services are clearly trying
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to solve it with training. i don't have a crystal ball. i don't know if in 25 years we can wait that long or if that will work or we will have another hearing like this. you know, and be looking for another solution. i wish i could because it is clear it's a major decision to make and would have all kinds of repercussions many of which we can't anticipate it would be harmful. yes, this is a very serious problem and described so perfectly that when you have -- we all want victims to come forward. if they don't come forward now only can we not provide them with the services but we can't go after those providers and yet we haven't earned their trust.
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how do you learn their trust when the command structure it is a very incestuous place and you are asking the victims to come forward with a tremendous amount of power so how we resolve that i don't know and i don't want to pretend that i do rather than curing this is a serious problem that we have to find a solution for. >> we have to look at changing the culture. we have sent out one of the things that we did was we had a command directed looking at inappropriate material in the workplace of restricted by the secretary of the air force. what we didn't say was the commanders ignored you. we found this much material than the generals and the commanders ignored you. if you have a good grasp of the culture the wire the blowing you
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off. i would have been down at the base. if after a month's notice she knew we were coming and we had to deal with inappropriate behavior, we are not taking action on the existing issue is that we have right now. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, thank you. let me say to all of you i really apologize for the fact that so many of the members had to leave, many of them having to catch planes and the like but i would agree with the congressman that it would have been inappropriate to have you speak first so that it would have allowed for the general to recognize what we are talking about here more specifically. it to you, retired sergeant mcnally, you are absolutely right. there was an actual notice that went out in the air force. we are going to come through and see whether or not you got
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sexual harassing documentation in your cubicle on your computer, by the way not your laptop with the main server and after a month notice they collected 32,000, 32,000 inappropriate documents. he's not one of those that testify. jennifer come if you are here to stand up for a moment jessica was in error man. she was raped and reported the rape. in 2009. so this isn't an old case, this is a recent case. she was told that it was going to be investigated, it was going to go to court martial. two days before it was going to go to the court martial a new commander came into town and that commander had the authority
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to dismiss the prosecution and ordered the court martial to be abandoned for. that is what is wrong with the system. certain individuals have power that far exceed what it should be and if you can basically stopped a court-martial after all of that has taken place, and you don't have the kind of independence to look at these cases and that is what is frustrating to so many of us. thank you, jessica. dr. lisak, you talked earlier and spoke about your work with the military and it's been over ten years. i got the impression that you were basically saying that, you know, things are looking pretty good. and while, you know, this probably will work, it's better than it is and the civilian every night and so i but like for you to comment on that a little more specifically. >> sure. thank you. well, i'm sorry to give you the impression that things are
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looking pretty good. anything but. i was comparing the military performance to the performance in the civilian sector both the local district attorneys and universities in the similar populations and compared to the outcome of a military looks pretty good. it's not to comment about how things are in the civilian world i don't disagree with anything that's been said here in terms of the profound problems the services have. i do see the services making efforts that i don't see in the civilian world. and i see little bits and pieces of evidence that some of those are bearing fruit and that gives me some hope. >> let me ask you another question. you have done a lot of research and you have profiled sexual predators' if i'm not mistaken; is that correct? >> i do not use the word
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profile. ischemic but you have studied them and in the military. my understanding is that it's not unusual to have these individuals who will call sexual predators be exemplary and pnac beyond xm three soldiers, the soldiers that also are very good at identifying targets that are ripe for the prey is that correct? >> that's correct. >> one of the things that happens in the military is you can have as a mitigating factor the fact that you have good military character that is a mitigating factor so we can reduce even though this is a felony and this is a crime if you have been an exemplary soldier then we are going to reduce the sentence because we don't have sentence guidelines in the military so i would disagree with you on a lot of counts as compared to the civilian society where we do have the sentencing guidelines
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where there is a rape shield and where there is an appeals process and there is independence and of which exists in the military. but, knowing that, don't we have a greater obligation in the military to make sure that these individuals that prey on victims, trainees in this case over and over again get to get out, and taken out of the military, not to get out -- [laughter] >> well i certainly agree with you that the only solution -- if you have identified a predator and you have some kind of a judicial process that the research is very clear that there is very little to be done to rehabilitate the predators and that for the protection of the community whether it is the military or university or the civilian community, these individuals have to be isolated
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from the community basically. >> thank you. my time is expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. so, dr. lisak the question i have is dealing with a situation having been part of an air crew and the tight knit military unit myself, i find that the unit members know the tendencies of individuals so that when this person is being accused it's not surprising. they may be of great of standing character and as we say in the army they are your high and tight soldiers and hard chargers but you know because the same situation that gets you into a situation when you are protected with one another and close-knit puts you in the role that you understand okay i've got to watch out for this guy. is their anything that has been changed by the rise of women into higher ranks?
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i was often the highest in my unit and it became my role to step in and other units as well and i was often the only officer. are you seeing some of those dynamics? i'm not saying there are not great officers who act the way they should but this does that change the dynamic to have more officers were trained? >> this is a very anecdotal response to that because it's my limited experience with the various services to the i think it helps, but i don't think it's something that can be relied on as a fix because the same sort of cultural dynamics that we have been talking about here all morning and into the afternoon apply to women as well and the pressures to conform and the pressures not to report, to be careful about who you say what to can apply to the women as
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well and silence them even when you are in authority in the service there is always somebody that has got more power switch is an improvement and it helps, but it's not the sort of fundamental fix. >> thank you would you like to add something? >> i would like to start by saying that oftentimes this issue gets turned into a male on female issue and it's very important to know that 56% of our victims are male. it is yet to be looked at and given the attention that it needs. i want that on the record today that this isn't just a female issue, this is a predator issue. and just to let you know, things
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are getting worse. in 2010 and 2011, commander actions on the ground dealing with sexual assault complaints have gone down 23%, down 23%. court-martial, 2010, 2011 down 22%. court-martial convictions same year, down 8%. the dod surveys find that 39% of perpetrators are higher rank, 23% or a lower chain of command so we are asking our people, our troops to turn to potential predators to report another according to these statistics.
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>> thank you. i didn't know you said 56% cracks [applause] that is good to know. so, my question to you then, you obviously are as you said a spitfire and willing to stand up. do you find many of your clients choosing to stay in once they are given the tools and? are any of them -- is there any way once they've gone through this process and if there is a resolution that can be reached is there any way to keep these amazing men and women that we have invested so much money into and effort into who then take this knowledge and help others as they go on in their career or are they so hurt that they want nothing to do with the military? >> that is a great question. on the paper of the sexual assault problems of the military are so pretty.
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they're beautiful. if the actually were implemented, that would be great. but they are not. and we see it to this day since the passage of the defence act in 2011 we have been dealing with implementation issues the entire time because of people just straight up ignoring it, not wanting to deal with that or just we don't have time for this. the issue is more important, be it. that is what we are seeing. the culture is getting more and more vicious. i don't know if it is because it becomes so popular with the congress now and that it's out in the media but it has been risen so in addition to getting raped, you are getting beaten, threatened then we have to fight with commanders on how to get this person off the base so they will not get prolonged ptsd.
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so no right now we are not going to be able to save them with a system we have in place right now. >> i'm out of time. i just want to thank the sergeant mcnally and norris. we need more like you. [applause] >> we want to thank you for taking time to be here this afternoon and for sharing you're very compelling story. and all the witnesses for providing your expertise to the panel. seeing no other questions, the meeting is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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